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Ibrox hotel under threat of closure

FEARS are growing for the future of a landmark hotel after staff were issued with redundancy notices.

Administrators have informed staff at Glasgow's Swallow Hotel, which is a popular stopover for fans attending matches at Rangers' Ibrox Stadium, that they are being put on a month's notice.

Staff claim they have been informed potential buyers do not want the site retained as a hotel.

Union representatives have already held talks with hotel management and say they expect about 35 members of staff to be laid off. They also claim Deloitte, the consultancy, has declined to confirm the nature of the business of potential buyers.

Insiders claim trade remains buoyant and that despite Rangers' troubles in recent seasons the hotel has retained a steady football business, with the recent Commonwealth Games and the event's Rugby Sevens at Ibrox topping off a busy five months.

About 35 staff have been put on 30-day redundancy notices.

Hotel group Crerar, which previously owned the hotel but has operated the lease for the past five years, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman at the ­Edinburgh-based firm, owned by leisure entrepreneur Paddy Crerar, also declined to comment on claims Crerar was being lined up to take over the hotel.

The potential closure of the Paisley Road West hotel is the latest in a long, complicated saga surrounding the Swallow chain. The London and Edinburgh ­Swallow Group crashed into administration in September 2006 with debts of £40 million.

One staff member said: "There are long-term plans for the hotel. We've seen the books. The figures we're aware of have turnover at around £700,000 for the past five months. The Commonwealth Games was only part of that.

"There was a tailing off of the football crowd when Rangers went into administration but that's steadied and expected to improve this season.

"Then on Monday we're told we're on 30-day notices. If no buyer is found we're paid the Government statutory minimum for being made redundant."

Willie McGonagle, Glasgow organiser for the union Unite, urged staff to express concerns to local MP Anas Sarwar and MSP Nicola Sturgeon. He added: "We have a meeting next Tuesday and are expecting more facts."

Deloitte said it was in talks with a potential buyer and that the insolvency had been caused by a local authority pursuing another hotel in the group over non-payment of non-domestic rates.

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